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Exercising regularly has immense benefits for our physical and mental wellbeing. From boosting our mood to providing an energy boost throughout the day, regular exercise is an important tool to help us stay healthy. However, it is understandable that sometimes the motivation to exercise is lacking. Many times life can get in the way and before you know it, you’re skipping your regular workout more often than not.
Reasons to Break Your Workout Routine
There are times when it is perfectly valid to break your workout routine. The most common reasons to rest from exercise include:
- Illness – If you are feeling ill, it is best to take a rest day to help yourself recover. Working out can make symptoms worse and hinder your rate of recovery.
- Overtraining – Working out regularly is great, however, too much exercise can leave your body exhausted. Allowing your body to rest will help you recover properly.
- Injury – If you are injured, it is important to rest and allow your body to heal. Working out while injured can cause further damage.
- Lack of Motivation – We all have moments when we don’t feel as motivated as usual, and this is perfectly normal. Taking an extra rest day or two can help you recharge and get back on track.
Benefits of Taking a Rest Day
Resting from exercise can often do your body more good than you realize. Rest days are essential for muscle recovery, improved performance and reducing the risk of injury. Taking time away from regular exercise will also give your body time to heal any existing injuries and prevent burnout. Undertaking regular exercise is important, however, rest days should be worked into your routine to allow your body the time it needs to recover.
Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About Skipping
It is important to remember that it is perfectly normal to occasionally miss a workout. Life can get in the way and sometimes it is necessary to take a rest day. Many times, taking an extra rest day can be beneficial to your mental and physical health. Feeling guilty about missing a workout can be counterproductive and can stop you from wanting to get back on track. Feeling guilty will not do you any favors; instead, focus on what you can do to get back into your exercise routine when you do have the time.
The Power of Taking Time for Yourself
Taking a rest day doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take a day off from everything. On extra rest days, use the time to take care of yourself. Take some time for yourself, enjoy a cozy night in, take a long bubble bath, get a massage or practice some gentle yoga or stretching. Not only will this help you to relax, but it will also help to loosen any tight muscles. Taking time for yourself is a great way to help you recharge and refocus your energy.
How to Make Up for Lost Exercise
If you’re feeling guilty about missing a workout, use that guilt as motivation to get back into it. Start by scheduling a few extra workouts per week to make up for missed exercise. If this is too much, simply add an extra 10-15 minutes to your regular routine. This will help you to stay on track and ensure you still reap the benefits of regular exercise.
Exercising regularly is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle, however, taking a few extra rest days can often help to replenish your energy and re-invigorate your motivation. If you have missed a few workouts you should not feel guilty about it. The most important thing to do is focus on what you can do to get back into your regular routine. If a break is needed, use that time to care for yourself and practice some gentle exercise such as stretching or yoga.
We all have times where we struggle to find the motivation to exercise. This is completely normal and should not be a cause of guilt. Taking an extra rest day once in a while can help you to recover and re-invigorate your motivation. On rest days, make sure to practice some gentle exercise and take time to focus on yourself and relax.
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- Lavallee, D. (2016). Exercise Physiology: Human Bioenergetics and Its Applications. McGraw-Hill.